|New Curbside Composting, Recycling and Garbage Service begins October 31|
Starting October 31st, most Portland residents will be able to add food scraps, along with yard debris, to their green Portland Composts! roll carts. These changes apply to all single-family households and buildings with four or fewer units.
As part of this new service, collection of the green Portland Composts! roll cart will increase to weekly and garbage collection will change to every other week. This will allow for additional food scrap and yard debris collection without raising prices for most residents. The blue Portland Recycles! roll cart and yellow glass recycling bin will continue with weekly collection.
With the new service, instead of throwing away things like meat, diary, bones, vegetables and grains, residents will be able to send food scraps to local composting facilities where they will be turned into nutrient-rich compost for fertilizing yards and gardens.
Results of a year-long Food Scrap Curbside Collection Pilot with 2,000 households across four different Portland neighborhoods showed that the program works. Removing food scraps from the garbage and increasing the green roll cart to weekly pickup made every-other-week garbage collection manageable for residents.
“With two kids under 8, we generate a lot of food scraps in our house. Not only can we put bones and vegetable peels right into the kitchen pail, crumbled animal crackers, soggy cereal, and sandwich crusts can go in as well,” said Brad Robertson, food scrap curbside collection pilot resident in the Richmond neighborhood. “The kids are excited about turning their food scraps into usable compost and doing something good for the earth.”
In October before the service change takes effect, residents will receive a kitchen pail for collecting food scraps after meals and while cooking, as well as instructions for successful food scrap collection. Customer service representatives will be available to answer questions and provide assistance on the curbside hotline at 503-823-7202 and more information will be available online at www.portlandcomposts.com.
Many Portlanders already compost some food scraps in their backyard. With the new Curbside Collection Service, residents will be able to add many items to the green Portland Composts! roll cart that should not be composted in backyard composts, such as meat, bones, dairy, grains, cooked foods and pizza delivery boxes.
Locally, food scraps account for almost 30,000 tons of unnecessary garbage every year. Food scraps can be put to better use as compost to improve the health of our soils and gardens.
With this new collection service, the collected food scraps will go to Oregon commercial composting facilities with specialized processes that break down the organic matter in just four weeks. After another four weeks of “curing,” compost from the facilities is sold as bagged compost or in bulk to landscapers and the public. The final product is a nutrient-rich soil amendment that helps plants grow, prevents erosion, retains water, suppresses plant disease and blocks weeds.
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